Last month, a new website was launched by a consortium of non-profit organisations as a response to what’s been discussed about charities in the media. The website www.goodcharity.ie is an excellent resource and gives you a set of questions to ask before you support a particular charity. This website is a direct response to the negative impacts and the drop in public confidence and trust in the sector. As many organisations are publicly funded either through government or fundraising, charities, community and voluntary organisations are accountable in managing their income. Goodcharity.ie is about encouraging openness and transparency by charities to make information readily and easily available to a range of stakeholders, public, corporates, funders etc.
We would strong encourage businesses to access the site and in particular read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section which gives information on:
The most obvious things to look for before partnering with an NGO is whether or not they have a valid CHY number, if details of their registered business address, contact phone number and email address for correspondence is easy to find and whether they have a functional website which clearly states their main activities, programmes and their impact. There is also a Further Reading section of goodcharity.ie which has great information on the charity sector, governance, costs and overheads for NGO’s and non-profits, plus much more.
Board Leadership and Control
Governance is a top priority for many charities in light of the crises with CRC and Rehab. The board or management committee has the responsibility to lead, set strategy and direction. So if you want to find out about how a charity is governed, then check out www.governancode.ie
Business in the Community Ireland is a member of the Governance Code Working Group (CDWG) alongside seven other leading national membership NGO’s. The Governance Code is voluntary code of practice that assists non-profit organisations to act in line with best governance practice. If you want to check out which charities are compliant with the code and who is signed up ‘on the journey’, check out the register on: http://www.governancecode.ie/organisations.php Currently there are 83 compliant and 441 organisations on the journey. If your charity is an overseas development organisation, then they should be compliant with Dóchas Governance code. Dóchas is the Irish association for non- governmental development organisations. www.dochas.ie
Boardmatch Ireland has developed a really good tool called the Transparency Scale which rates the transparency of an organisation based on the level of corporate information listed on its website. See the resources section in www.boardmatch.ie
There are 8,400 entities with a CHY number, half of which are companies limited by guarantee, another way to find out information is the Company Registration Office. See www.cro.ie
If your charity is involved in fundraising, then check out if they are signed up to the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising – www.ictre.ie . See http://www.ictr.ie/content/organisations-signed-statement-guiding-principles-fundraising
Finally, with the Charity Regulator Designate Una Ni Dhubhghaill and members of the New Charity Regulatory Authority now appointed; the Authority will formally be established on 16th October 2014 under the Charities Act 2009. The primary objective of the Authority is the set- up of a comprehensive register for charities in Ireland. This register will be populated with valuable information including, purpose, board members, financial details as well as activity and financial reports that anyone can easily access from the Authority’s website. So in the future, business, funders, donors and the public can go to one dedicated website to access all the information they need to check out their charity.
If you have any questions on this topic don’t hesitate to get in touch with
Corporate Responsibility Consultant (Community Outreach),Business in the Community Ireland Tel: + 353 1 8747232 e: firstname.lastname@example.org